The Mix of Lives


1. The Beginning and the End

Through the quiet woods not a sound could be heard, except, “Run, must run. I don’t want to die,” panted Jack.

Jack kept running for hours without stopping for even a second to eat or rests, seeking for a chance to catch his breath, sadly for Jack, hunters are not the type to give in easily. Jack thought he was going to die, luckily, as fate would have it, it was not his time. Jack kept running, and he was able to break into a small house very quietly. Luckily, no one was inside to stop Jack, and the hunters did not see him enter. Jack knew he had bought some time, so he decided to ‘borrow’ some food. When he entered the kitchen, he saw a family. Each of them, of course, were very surprised, however before the family could scream, Jack magically stopped them from talking. Jack begged them, “Please let me stay here for only an hour; my head is being hunted.”

            The family thought that if this young man was being hunted, he must be dangerous. Nevertheless, Jack asked them not to scream, and he would release their mouths. They all nodded their heads. Jack, now more observant than wary, saw a middle aged woman, two daughters, and one son.

            Jack asked, “What are your names?”

            The eldest daughter replied, “My name is Scarlet. This is Rose, and this is Chris, short for Chrysanthemums,” Jack chuckled. “You better not be laughing,” said Chris. Scarlet continued, “And our mother is called Spring.”

           Jack knew he had to say something, “Thank you for your hospitality. My name is Balin Jack, or Jack for short. As I said earlier, I am being hunted, but I am no threat, unless provoked.”

            “How can we trust you!?” exclaimed Chris.

            Jack quietly shrieked, “Please quiet down. I will tell you everything, so please no more yell-”

“Excwuse mwe mwister, how you shut ouwr mouwts?” whispered Rose.

Jack bent slowly, yet dramatically and said, “If you take me to your most quiet room, swear to tell no one, and not kick me out, I will tell you.”

The family agreed to his conditions, and took him to an underground cellar, which was unexpectedly large. The family holding the lantern looked worried, yet, they did not fear him. However, they were still worried. They looked at looked at Jack with ponderous faces.

“Alright, I will tell you what I am, and where I come from, but if you tell anyone―may it be your daughter, or daughter’s daughter, or daughter’s daughter’s son, or anyone―I will personally come and end you. Is that clear?” Jack threatened

They all quickly shook their heads.

“Also, you cannot interrupt me. Understood?”

Again, they shook their heads.

“Alright, I’ll start with how I stopped your mouths―I used magic.”

Before Chris could talk, Jack stopped his mouth.

“There is your proof, and I did warn you: no interruptions allowed. You will stay like that until I’m done with my explanation. Now then, where was I? Ah yes, the reason I could use magic is because I am a Dwarf and a Giant.”

Everyone’s eyes bulged right out of their heads, but they knew that they couldn’t talk, so they held it in.

“You are probably wondering, how? Why? What?  The reason I have the height of a human is because giants are big, and dwarves are small. Thus I have the height of a normal person. Make no mistake; I have the magic abilities of a dwarf, and the strength of a giant. And, the reason I am being hunted is because, as you can imagine, I am what you call, a mythical creature.”

The family could not believe their eyes, let alone their ears, but the ability to stop their mouths was a fact.

“Oh, by the way, I can only use a limited amount of magic and giant’s strength, because it uses up my strength, so, please let me rest here for a couple of days. Of course I will pay you back, just not now.”

The family did not wish to kick him out, so they agreed. Everyone got up, and started for the stairs. Before they made their way up, Jack turned his head around. His eyes pierced the core of their very souls. With a quiet and menacing voice he said, “If you were to betray me, you will wish you were at the bottom of the world, so do not disturb me, and I will not disturb you.”

Scarlet bravely said, “What just happened? Your personality just switched.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and all, but I don’t trust humans. The only reason I was so polite, was because I wished to stay here. Oh, by the way, a dwarf, just like a vampire, can’t stay in someone’s house unless invited, and you can’t take it back unless I exit the house, and you allowed me to stay here a couple of days remember?” Jack said with a rude voice.

Scarlet did not believe all of his words, for when she saw his eyes, she felt as if she was seeing anger, yet sorrow, however, she did not wish to ask anymore.

“I will show you your room Jack. Please follow me,” Scarlet said with a polite voice.

Two days had passed, and something interesting had happened, and that was the hunters. They, for some reason had come over to the house, and Jack thought they had sold him out. The two men were very big, bigger than Jack even, with a pair of rifles.

The first hunter asked, “Have ya seen a young man with reddish color hair, and quite a looker?”

If Scarlet would have said yes, Jack would have killed those three.

With a brave face, “Yes, I have. I saw him two nights ago, and he went that away.”

“Oh, thank you, little lady,” the second hunter blushed, for normal men found Scarlet quite beautiful.

Jack had a shocked expression on his face, and noticed that he was ready to fight, showing that he never trusted anyone.

Jack went down and asked, “Why did you lie?”

“Did I? I was pretty sure that you told us you came from that direction, so it is not entirely a lie,” Scarlet said sarcastically.

The corner’s of Jack’s mouth slowly lifted a few centimeters, and all at once laughed.

“Hahahaha it’s true you did not lie, but you did not tell the truth either.”

Jack then forced his mouth down, and went back upstairs.

Scarlet thought that this would be a good chance to ask why his eyes held sorrow, she thought that it would be easier to talk while eating a snack, so she cut some apples into little tiny pieces, and went upstairs. When she got there, Jack was already asleep, even though the sun was shining right on his face. For the first time since Scarlet was born, she had found someone attractive.

Scarlet quietly whispered, “His attitude may seem cold, but his face seems so gentle.”

Hearing those words, Jack woke up. Here’s a tip―dwarves have sensitive ears. He quickly noticed Scarlet, and asked, “What is with the apples?”

            “Ah this, I wished to ask you something, and I thought we could talk over some snacks,” the flushed Scarlet said.

            Lucky for Scarlet, Jack is very dense when it comes to women.

            “How will I know if they are not poisoned? You will eat one piece that I choose,” said Jack, which Scarlet happily agreed to. Jack continued, “What do you wish to ask?”

            Scarlet with a brave voice said, “Why was there sorrow in your eyes when we met?”

            Jack extremely surprised, decided to open his heart a little and said, “If I am being hunted, then you should expect what would happen to the others. After we are killed, they may stuff us, or eat us, or even use us as rugs. Know you should understand why I hate your kind.”

            Scarlet with a face that showed sympathy said, “I am truly sorry.”

            Jack angrily replied, “Can you wonder why we are being hunted? It is because they see us as a threat, not just dwarves or giants, all mythical creatures. I admit that some are bad, though many others are kind and peaceful as they can get. I am angry because of this, and I do not trust humans.”

            Scarlet blurted out, “Trust me! I have lost something as well, my father. Is it not strange why we don’t have a father?”

            Jack was not surprised, for he thought that their father had already passed away.

            Scarlet kept talking, “I know the pain of losing something, so I will never betray you, for that is the greatest pain, to lose someone you love. I would have rather died, than see my father die right before me.”

            This time it was Jack’s turn to have a sympathetic face, “Forgive my rudeness. I treated you like others. From now on, I wish to protect you and your family. I will never let you shed a single tear, as long as I live.”

One month passed, and the day of Jack’s life would soon end. It was Rose’s birthday, and the house merry and joyful.

            “Happy Birthday!” the whole crowd screamed at Rose.

            There was food, drinks, games, friends, and many other fun stuff, however, what the family strangely wanted most was for everyone to leave, except themselves and Jack, for Jack said he would put on a special show just for Rose. After the guests left, Jack kept his word. With his magic, he made the house into a fantasy world, filled with beautiful flowers, and a sky so clear. It was as if they were outside. This would be their undoing. Rose saw all of these flowers, and started to pick only roses. These roses were beautiful; they still were not as beautiful as the blood flower. The blood flower was named this, for every death that happened in the world, a blood flower would bloom. It was also nicknamed the scarlet flower, because of its red color.

            Scarlet, with wide eyes, saw everything and asked joyfully, “May I have one of these flowers?”

            Jack responded delightfully, “Take a handful or a basketful if you wish.”

            Scarlet wished for only one, for one was enough to marvel at its beauty, but she had picked a flower, which had not bloomed yet.

            Jack asked curiously, “Why that one? There are many others that have bloomed. Is it that you wish to know if someone has died?”

            “No, I just wish to see it bloom,” Scarlet responded with a bright face.

After all this, night had fallen, and everyone was about to go to sleep, but Scarlet could not, for she was pondering something.

            She went to Jack’s room and asked, “Jack, is there anything stronger than magic?”

Surprised, Jack hesitantly whispered, “Yes, but it is quite rare, to near impossible.”

            “What is it?” Scarlet said curiously.

            Jack replied, “I do trust you, so I will tell you. It is love. Surprised, right? It is love.”

Scarlet had an extremely red face that an apple would lose to, but luckily it was dark. Blunderingly she said, “L-l-love.”

            “That is right, but not some weak and boring love. The love must be pure and strong. To obtain this love, you must love both the inside and outside. You cannot just love their money or power, sadly, in this day and age; people only care about power and money. Oh, though everyone here is different.” Jack said with a smile.

            Scarlet once again said, “l-l,” before she could continue, a great knock was heard on the door.

            “What was that?” Jack said.

Outside there were at least 100 hundred men, and they all shouted, “Come out here, Balin Jack! We want your head!” Jack was scared out of his mind, although did not show it, as to not concern Scarlet.

            Jack quickly ran outside, “I am here! How did you know I was here?”

            One of the hunters, who looked like their leader said, “That’s easy. One of my men saw something in this house while he was looking for you, your magic. This evening you made that huge garden appear out of nowhere. Who else could do that but you?”

            Jack’s face froze. He knew he couldn’t beat them, but maybe he could bargain.

            Jack screamed confidently, “If I let you capture me, please do not harm these people!”

            “No! They will most likely be killed, or become slaves,” the leader hunter said.

            Jack was terrified; he does not mind dying anymore, for he had spent it so happily for the past month. He did not wish to bring the others with him. Jack only thought of one way, a magic spell. Oh, not just any spell, the most powerful and dangerous spell. He quickly ran into the house, and barricaded it. He went upstairs and begged for forgiveness. They did not have time for words, so the only thing Jack could do was bow and kiss Scarlet’s gentle hand, just like how a knight bows before his king.

            Jack ran outside, and cast a spell. This spell is similar to time travel; it only affects the people the caster has come into contact with in that time. It would take the caster back to a time he/she remembers vividly and erase everyone’s mind, including them. No one would remember this event. This ability also changes one event during that time, changing the entire flow of the future.

            One month back. “Run, must run, I don’t want to die,” said Jack. While he was running, he had passed the house, never having met Spring, nor Rose, nor Chris, and especially Scarlet.  Night had passed, and Scarlet woke up, but she noticed a strange flower she never remembered picking. The flower was full bloomed and scarlet red. It was truly beautiful, and all at once she remembered. She was in denial for a second, quickly realizing the truth; she went down to show everyone, however, no one remembered.

            She ran outside, climbed the tallest tree she could find and screamed with all her might, “Jack! Jack! Jack!”

            Ten hours passed with no answer. Everyone wanted her to come down, she would not. Eventually she lost her strength and fell down. Luckily, she was not severely hurt. And, this is when she cried. She did not cry because of the scratches, she cried because she lost Jack.

            Scarlet, with a drowned face cried, “Youuu liiiiarrrr! (breath) Youuu said youu wuld neverrr lett mee cry again, (breath), as longgg as you livve. (breath) You are alive somewherre, so come and find mee!”

           While she was saying this, quiet footsteps came from behind her. She heard this and turned around. It was. . .

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